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NFL week 5 power rankings round-up: Did the Raiders win over the Colts move the needle?

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Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Last week the Raiders were inching close to the bottom of the league in the power rankings after two bad losses to the Chiefs and Vikings. They rebounded in week four, beating the Colts on the road and at least temporarily rescuing what could have been a dreadful start to the season. Let’s see how that win was reflected in the power rankings from around the sports world.

Rank: 24

Previous rank: 25

The Raiders' offense emerged from a prolonged slumber, surprising more than the Colts in a 31-24 win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Oakland had managed just two scoring drives in its previous 18 possessions, but Derek Carr led the offense on three touchdown drives in the Raiders' first four possessions on Sunday, building a lead the team never relinquished. The offense made progress, but the real hero of the day was safety Erik Harris, a CFL castoff who clinched the win with a 30-yard pick-six with 2:09 to play. All wins are beautiful things, but this victory was especially important for the Raiders, now 2-2 and in the midst of a 47-day run of game action away from Oakland. The Raiders will finish that road trip, and the rest of the schedule, without linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was suspended for the balance of the year for his helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Jack Doyle.


Rank: 24

Previous rank: 24

How to increase their playoff chances: Finding a middle linebacker who is adept at defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's scheme -- in the wake of Vontaze Burfict's season-long suspension for dirty play -- would be a start. The thing is, the only MLB in Oakland who knows the system, Marquel Lee, is on injured reserve. Entering the Colts game, the Raiders had no one listed behind Burfict on the depth chart. No. One. Here's an idea, for continuity's sake: Move Tahir Whitehead inside permanently, and re-sign Brandon Marshall -- who already knows the defense from spending the entire offseason and training camp with the team -- to play outside.

Rank: 26

Previous rank: 26

Derek Carr has had a 100-plus passer rating in three of four games and is completing a career-high 72.1 percent of his throws. The next Rich Gannon?

Sporting News

Rank: 24

Previous rank: 26

The Raiders got it done with Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs playing well enough in Indy and with their defense starting to make plays. They will remain pesky on the road with Jon Gruden.

CBS Sports

Rank: 17

Previous rank: 21

Winning on the road at Indianapolis was impressive. Now comes a long trip to London to play the Bears, but they will play without linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the rest of the season.

USA Today

Rank: 23

Previous rank: 26

They rolled dice in offseason by importing WR Antonio Brown and LB Vontaze Burfict. Serenity now, Mr. Incognito, serenity now.

Average rank: 23

Previous avg rank: 24

So, the win did nothing to change the Raiders’ position in the rankings for ESPN and Sports Illustrated. While over at CBS. they had the Raiders ranked higher last week and middle of the league this week. A big difference from the other publications. Some of the hesitance to jump the Raiders up in the ranking is they have a tough slate upcoming against the Bears in London, and the Packers and Texans also on the road. Losing Vontaze Burfict for the season doesn’t help either. The power rankings appear to be in wait-and-see mode with the Raiders.